Blurring a Face in After Effects

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Blurring a face in After Effects is something that you see on the news quite often. Blur a face in After Effects with help from a certified Adobe instructor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: After Effects Made Easy
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Matthew Pizzi, and what we're gonna take a look at is how we can blur a face inside of After Effects. If you've ever watched a news broadcast where an interviewer wants to remain anonymous, typically the production team will blur their face. I'm gonna show you how inside of After Effects. In this composition, I have a video file of a woman being interviewed, and what we want to do is blur her face. So, you'll notice inside this video there's a little bit of motion as she moves her head. So what we need to do is we need to track that motion. The first thing that we're gonna do is insert a null object. To add the null object, go to the layer menu, and under the layer menu choose new null object. A null object basically gives you the ability to apply effects. We're gonna go ahead and put this square right on her face, and then what we need to do is make sure that we track her motion. You need to have the tracker panel open. If it's not open, you can go to the window menu, and from the window menu you can choose tracker. Once you have the tracker panel open, you want to go ahead and click the track motion button, and that will add a little box to the composition. We also want to track rotation, so select that, and it will add another box. You want to go ahead and move this box on top of her left eye. And you need to make sure that you have the move tool active. Just a little arrow with a four-way arrow next to it. Click and drag the center point to her left pupil, and you want to do the exact same thing on the right side. Drag this box to her right pupil. You want to make sure that the null object is the target. If it's not, you can click this edit target button, and change the target. After the target is set properly, you want to go ahead and analyze this. And you can click the analyze forward button, and you'll find that these boxes follow her eyes as she moves her head. So now that the tracking looks good, we can go ahead and click apply. Once you click apply, you'll see all the key frames that were automatically created for you. We don't need to look at this. So we'll go ahead and collapse this layer. Now what we want to do is add a new adjustment layer. So make sure that the null object layer is selected, go up to the layer menu, and from the layer menu choose new adjustment layer. With the adjustment layer selected, we want to apply an effect to it. So come over to the effect panel, and start typing int he word mosaic. You'll notice under the stylize section there's a mosaic option. Drag the mosaic effect on top of the adjustment layer, and you'll see a bunch of boxes appear over the video. This is clearly the effect that we want, but we don't want it to be applied to the entire video. We'll look at how we can crop this down to just her face in a moment, but I want to go ahead and adjust the number of boxes being used withing this mosaic effect. I'm gonna go ahead and add 70 both horizontally and vertically. What we need to do now is we need to essentially apply just this mosaic effect to her face. So we're gonna turn off the visibility of this adjustment layer, but we're gonna keep it active, and come up towards the top and choose your pen tool. With the pen tool, you want to start clicking around her face. Once you're happy with your path, go ahead and turn the visibility of the adjustment layer back on, and as you play the video, you'll notice her face is masked out. As you can see, blurring faces inside of After Effects isn't difficult at all.


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